Pines International Academy is situated in Baguio City, also known as the “City of Pines” and the Summer Capital of the Philippines due to its cool breeze and peaceful ambiance.
Baguio offers excellent indoor and outdoor activities, tourist attractions, and a wide range of places for culture and culinary tourism. So to be honest, a 3-day 2-night (3D2N) trip offered by tourist agencies is not enough to truly know its deep and rich civilization. And once you get to know Baguio City, prepare to get hooked through its beauty and uniqueness— as it is the home for everyone.
But don’t get me wrong, even though the weather is the most loved feature of Baguio City, sometimes people want to have fun under the sun. Fortunately, for the students of Pines International Academy, we are approximately two hours away from La Union, also known as the “Garden Coast” and the Surfing Capital of the Philippines. To keep up with the trend, the locals and tourists call it ELYU.
When you plan to take a break and recharge, make sure to explore the chill surf beach vibe and other tourist spots in La Union, as it is famous for its surfing spots, other natural and heritage attractions, and cultural activities like red clay pottery, grape picking, loom weaving, churches for pilgrimage tours, waterfalls, and eco-tours.
In this blog post, we will feature five things you can do and the places you can visit in ELYU for a memorable exploration and tons of instagrammable photos… because if it’s not posted, it never happened— a quite toxic perspective and very millennial way of thinking. But in reality, the joy behind the scene is what truly matters.
1. MORNING WALKS INFUSED WITH VITAMIN D.
When you’ve been living in the city for too long, just like me, the only kind of calm and peace that you need is the sound of the waves while watching how chaos can leave a different impact on our minds and soul.
The heat from the sun touching your face is also a refreshing experience in the early morning since, in Baguio City, the clouds prevent us from taking complete advantage of the free Vitamin D source. The natural warmth from head to toe from being on the seaside is what makes the trip extra relaxing… until it burns from 10 AM onwards.
However, to beat the heat, you can always dive in and let the sea give you that ultimate comfort you’ve been looking forward to. Swim until you drop… trust me, your skin has enough time to heal from the sunburn when you go back to the city doing your 9-5 routine or English enhancement training. Take it as freedom— recovering from burnout.
2. GO INTO A COMPLETE FOOD-IS-LIFE MODE.
This explains why we always say this: you are not alone. Because wherever you go, food will always be with you.
As mentioned in our previous blog, food is a piece of your identity. That’s why every place is a food hub for everyone. So don’t be scared to explore and discover the beauty of the Philippines. In ELYU, these two restaurants exceeded my expectations.
When in San Juan, La Union, dining at Kabsat is a must.
Kabsat is a term that means “sibling” in English, from the local dialect of the province. Besides the food quality, while waiting for your orders to be served, the place is also a haven for your Instagram needs— a picture-perfect view.
I highly recommend the Crispy Pork Sisig and Tofu with String Beans in Sweet Soy; piquant and budget-friendly. Plus, the staff are accommodating in a good ambiance.
Another great restaurant we visited and highly recommended is the Steak to Juan, where everything is affordable with beyond-expensive quality. It is located in Baluarte, Victoria Luna, La Union. It’s also where I’ve tasted the best burger steak ever.
For refreshers, like fresh fruit shakes, then go to Silong. Its location in San Juan is accessible and convenient, even for the first time or solo traveler. It is near the stalls that offer different local and international cuisines, street foods, booze, and appetizers.
The foods are all great and tasty… however, be observant and watch out for the vendors who are more likely to take advantage of you by overpricing with minimal servings. Remember that the money you’re using for your trip is hard-earned. Don’t let it go to waste by keeping up with what you don’t deserve. Yes, you are there to enjoy but be wise when spending.
3. BE A COMPLETE OPACAROPHILE (A PERSON WHO LOVES THE SUNSET).
The sky has a paragon of beauty any time of the day at any given season… after admiring the sunrise in the morning, and the various cloud formations in the afternoon, at the end of the day, it presents you with a pleasant ending through the sunset.
That’s why when one needs an instant mood booster, look up and let the distinct sense of calm from the divine radiance of the sky do the trick.
In ELYU, the sunset hits differently. The sun looks so close— the kind of imagination and wonder of being near the elements of a blissful day.
4. FANCY THE CREATIVITY OF THE LOCALS.
For a complete ELYU experience, check out Bahay na Bato for a walk through the art lane to remember. It is located in Luna, La Union.
The place is packed with stone art— crafted, carved, and painted rocks in different sizes and forms. There is also a collection of antiques used by the earlier generations showing how simple life was back then.
This place has it all— the view, the trees, and the creative minds of the artists. Every corner is Instagram-worthy.
When you visit this place, leave kind words for the owner and caretakers… also, bring water. Discovering this place is like a whole-day endeavor. You need water to keep up with the heat and sweat. However, this was the most challenging yet most memorable experience I’ve ever had outside Baguio City.
5. CHILL OUT BY LIVING YOUR NIGHTLIFE TO THE FULLEST.
Name someone who goes on a vacation trip that doesn’t want to vibe as the beat goes on… so I could tell them that ELYU is the perfect place to go all out. The ultimate meditation for me is watching the party lights go crazy as your ears enjoy the rhythm of the waves and sound vibrations while swimming in the presence of moonlight.
Try this trick when you plan your first or next weekend getaway in La Union to recharge properly. Let the chaotic yet calming waves cleanse and shake up your tired body, burnout mental state, and troubled soul. Be a new version of yourself… let all the anxiety and fear be pulled away from you.